Rensselaer Rail Station is a train station in Rensselaer, New York, located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown Albany across the Hudson River. Operated by the Capital District Transportation Authority, it is primarily used as a station for Amtrak, and is the main intercity rail station for the Capital District. In order to distinguish this station from the Rensselaer station in Indiana, it appears in Amtrak timetables as Albany–Rensselaer.
Albany-Rensselaer station in April 2016
|Location||525 East Street|
Rensselaer, New York
|Owned by||Capital District Transportation Authority|
|Operated by||Capital District Transportation Authority|
|Line(s)||Empire Corridor (Hudson Subdivision)|
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Connections|| CDTA: 114, 214|
|Opened||September 22, 2002|
|Passengers (2017)||803,348 6%|
As of 2010[update] it was Amtrak's ninth-busiest station, as well as the busiest to serve a metro area with a population smaller than 2 million. This is primarily due to the large number of passengers who commute to and from New York City.
The intermodal station replaced two previous terminal buildings, one built in 1968 and the other in 1980. The 1968 building was torn down in order to expand the station's parking facility. Before 1968, trains stopped at Union Station in Albany. That building, located on Broadway, now houses the northeast headquarters of Bank of America (via predecessors Fleet Bank and Norstar Bank). The New York Central Railroad had plans to leave Albany, in part because Interstate 787 needed the space occupied by a rail yard, but the move took place under Penn Central's watch.
The current structure was completed in September 2002 and opened on September 22. It was designed by the Schenectady architecture firm Stracher–Roth Gilmore and the New York firm Vollmer Associates, with Ryan-Biggs of Troy providing structural engineering, Sage/Engineering Associates providing MEP engineering services, Erdman Anthony of Troy providing facilities engineering, and constructed by U. W. Marx/Bovis joint venture. The station was originally intended to have four tracks, but was built with only three due to cost concerns, leaving the station with fewer than preferable tracks. In October 2008, it was announced that a fourth track would be built after the two previous terminal buildings were demolished; a contract for that work was assigned at the same time. Design work was proceeding on the fourth track as of February 2010, but actual construction was placed on hold pending resolution of funding issues and demolition of the two terminal buildings to the north.
On October 27, 2010, demolition of the two other buildings began. In a December 4, 2012 press release, Amtrak indicated that installation of the fourth track would begin in 2013, and the project was completed in March 2016.
The two floor station features a large main lobby that contains a Coffee Beanery coffee shop, a newsstand, and a post office. Trains call at two high-level island platforms serving two tracks in each direction. The platforms are connected to the main building by an aerial walkway that is accessed by stairs, escalator and elevator. Each 605-foot (184 m) platform can accommodate up to 7 Amfleet cars, not including an engine.
- Adirondack to Montreal
- Empire Service: all trains to New York (via Hudson, Rhinecliff, Poughkeepsie, Croton-on-Hudson, Yonkers); two trains westbound to Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
- Ethan Allen Express to Rutland, Vermont
- Lake Shore Limited to Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago
- New York Branch (Train 48/49): Poughkeepsie, Croton-on-Hudson, New York (Penn Station)
- Boston Branch (Train 448/449): Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, Boston (Back Bay), Boston (South Station)
- Maple Leaf to Toronto
Two bus routes operated by the Capital District Transportation Authority, the local public transportation agency, serve the station:
- 114-Madison/Washington: Every 30 minutes during the day, and every hour on nights and weekends.
- 214-Rensselaer/Third Street-Amtrak: Every 30 minutes during rush hours, every 40 minutes during the day and about every hour on nights and weekends.
- "Rail Stations". Capital District Transportation Authority. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of New York" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Anderson, Eric (October 27, 2010). "High-Speed Rail Chugs Toward the Fast Lane". Albany Times Union. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- Woodruff, Cathy (February 14, 2010). "Train Late? Old Stations Derail New Track". Albany Times Union. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
- "2002 Award of Merit: Transit Project". Engineering News-Record. McGraw-Hill. December 1, 2002. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Governor Cuomo Announces Hudson Rail Lease – Amtrak/CSX Deal Will Improve Passenger Service, Move Projects Forward" (PDF) (Press release). Albany, New York: Amtrak. December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Anderson, Eric (March 7, 2016). "Fourth Track Opens At Station". Albany Times Union. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- Eric Anderson (2017-06-26). "Rensselaer Amtrak station gets new escalators". Times Union. Retrieved 2019-03-26.